Since the introduction of the divisional Cy Young in 1967, only five pitchers have won the award with an ERA below 1.68.
Why, you ask, did I choose that arbitrary and absurdly low number? Good question. No, it’s not the Golden Ratio, which is 1.618, but I applaud you for nearly remembering that meaningless fact from middle school. I chose 1.68 because it’s the ERA of New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom.
Despite cutting his beautiful flow (you know you loved it too), deGrom is currently enjoying one of the most impressive seasons in recent memory, and yet there are people who think the NL Cy Young award should be given to someone else. I don’t want to label you all, so I’ll let Vizzini do it for me.
Let’s go over some of the statistics that make deGrom deserving of the Cy Young. Aside from his ERA, which is the lowest in the MLB, deGrom has the lowest FIP in the National League. He also boasts the lowest number of home runs allowed (8), the third lowest WHIP (0.98), the second lowest SLG (.291), and the second most strikeouts (224) in the NL.
These numbers are reflective of his 6th lowest hard-hit% and 5th highest soft-hit% in the MLB (28.1 and 24.2, respectively). Basically, DeGrom is top 10 is just about every single pitching category, be they standard, advanced, or batted ball statistics (per Fangraphs). If a hitter makes contact, chances are its weak contact.
As for the “but Max Scherzer is more dominant” crowd, is he really? Sure, he has slightly higher K numbers and more intimidating (creepy, actually) eyes, but deGrom has a 99 mph fastball, 92 mph slider, and a high 80s changeup that dives off the table. Aside from maybe Blake Treinen and Jordan Hicks, you’d be hard-pressed to find a pitcher with a more filthy pitch arsenal.
Still, there are people who refuse to accept the Prince That Was Promised due to his record. Because of the incompetence and inconsiderate nature of the New York Mets offense, DeGrom is 8-8 with 11 no-decisions. It’s not a good record, but it has absolutely nothing to do with deGrom because he has been nothing short of incredible in just about every one of his starts. Our own suffering Mets fan Tyler Zupan was kind enough break down every one of deGrom’s no-decisions and losses a couple of weeks ago. Spoiler alert: he was incredible in nearly all of them.
19 straight quality starts for deGrom ties #Mets record set by Seaver in 1973. 24 straight starts with 3 or fewer runs allowed, ties team record set by Doc in 1985. We are watching the best of the best.
— Wayne Randazzo (@WayneRandazzo) August 29, 2018
Obviously, pitchers want to win games. The only thing they can do, though, is put their team in a position to win, and that’s exactly what Jacob deGrom does every single time out — more so than any other pitcher in the MLB.
The Cy Young Award goes to the BEST pitcher in each league, not the winningest. So far, Jacob deGrom has been exactly that, and if you think otherwise… read the title of this blog again.
P.S. Why is the “d” in “Jacob deGrom” lowercase? Can I capitalize it when the word “DeGrom” stands alone? Am I, in fact, a moron? Is anybody listening to me?
Photo: USA Today FTW